Swallows and Damazons!

24 May 2018
Claire Hector

We headed out this week to do a final few tweaks on the Discovery Bay at Hullabaloo wrap-up (more on that soon!) and to check whether the Ragged-Robin (a bright pink pollinator!) was in bloom yet on the Lost Duver meadows near our Arc, Artecology & The Common Space HQ.  We’re delighted to report that the place is humming with new life!  Flying overhead (from the Sandown Airport EGHN direction no less!) were a couple of swallows, and we spotted the first Broad Bodied Chasers dragonflies and Azure damselflies on the new ponds, particularly in the reed bed walk pond. This is absolutely great news and pretty quick too – the last pond was only created this winter, part of The Common Space’s work here. It’s worth sitting a while and watching the damselfly traffic through the reeds and in fact our digger driver designed the pond shape to allow people to do just that. 

We’re also chuffed to see that the turfs Ian Boyd had salvaged from a development site a few years ago are thriving; everything is just tipping into bloom… yellow flag iris, Ragged-Robin and Marsh Orchids all on the up and in triple the numbers than when first planted. If you visit now, see if you can spot these diamond-shaped turfs amongst the mass of bright yellow lesser spearwort!

The Lost Duver meadow is an excellent illustration of our punctuated intervention approach… small powerfully-packed ecological support that we’re building up patchwork-like and bit by bit. That’s the plan, both here in Sandown Bay and in our work across all our entities. It applies as much to our eco-engineering work at Artecology as it does to our approach to development and place-planning at Arc.

Thanks to Hampshire Payback Service, Down To The Coast, @greenarmyisleofwight, Arc Consulting, #Tescos #BagsofHelp and Les the Digger Driver for either bits of funding or hands-on help with diggers and loppers.

More from our survey and info on The Common Space Facebook page!

A broad bodied chaser, one of a pair on the Reed Bed Pond, dug this winter.

Ian points out the marsh orchids and Ragged-Robin coming up among the Yellow Flag Iris – a salvaged turf and great example of the power of punctuated intervention!